November 6, 2009

Health Care Reform bill with provisions for bipolar patients moving toward a House vote

In yesterday's blog, I indicated that the Health Care Reform Bill is moving toward a vote in the House of Representatives. The expected vote is now being considered for Sunday (Nov 8) or perhaps later. President Obama is planning to go to Capitol Hill on Saturday to lobby key swing vote Representatives who could make the difference in passing the Health Care Reform Bill. There are several important provisions for bipolar patients and people with other mental illnesses (see yesterday's blog for these points). Today and tomorrow are great days to call your Representative's Washington D.C. office and indicate your Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 11:27 AM | Comments (2)

November 5, 2009

Health Care Bill has key provisions for bipolar disorder patients

Last week, the House of Representatives created a new bill, H.R. 3962, which combines previous legislation passed by three House committees. This newly created legislation represents the House version of Health Care reform which is scheduled for a House vote this Saturday (Nov 7). During the past two days, two large lobbying groups, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the American Medical Association (AMA), have thrown their support behind H.R. 3962. A Senate version which combines earlier legislation that passed through two Committees is being drafted and is expected to be introduced in the near term. H.R. 3962 Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 2:54 PM | Comments (2)

October 21, 2009

Bring Change 2 Mind Launches today

A new high-profile organization, Bring Change 2 Mind, is being launched today through a series of public service announcements (PSAs). The PSAs address the stigma of Mental Illness and raise awareness of the prevalence of Mental Illness in the U.S.; they are directed by Ron Howard and feature Glenn Close. Glenn Close is working in concert with several leading organizations to create Bring Change 2 Mind. For more information, see Ms. Close has a sister, Jessie, who suffers from bipolar disorder. I must admit that I became a bit emotional when watching a few of the clips available at Read more...
Posted by Michael Lane at 10:34 AM | Comments (6)

June 29, 2007

Stanford University Bipolar Education Day - July 14th

Stanford University is hosting its 3rd annual bipolar disorder education day on July 14th, 2007. This is a great way for the psychiatric department at any university to give back to the local community and provide accessible information. Our coverage of past Stanford Bipolar Education days (with views of their presentations) is here: Bipolar Disorder Information and Treatment Presentations and also here: Highlights from Bipolar/Schizophrenia Education Day. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 10:12 AM | Comments (5)

December 17, 2006

Health Insurance Company Offering First Ever Bipolar Disease Management Program

Aetna Behavioral Health, a leading diversified health care benefits companies, introduces the industry first Bipolar Disease Management Program. This voluntary program plans to better treat clients suffering with bipolar disorder by giving information and care management; all in hopes of increasing medication and treatment adherence, and in turn reducing relapse. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 11:43 AM | Comments (13)

October 11, 2006

Bipolar Awareness Campaign: Mania vs. Depression

October 5th 2006 was this years Bipolar Awareness Day, as part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness's (NAMI) annual Mental Illness Awareness Week. This included; events, movie viewings, donations, free mental health screenings, as well as posters promoting awareness of mental illnesses, all in hopes of educating and reducing stigma. Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 8:48 AM | Comments (6)

July 18, 2006

Delving Into Bipolar Disorder

St. Joseph Hospital psychiatrist Himasiri De Silva held a lecture on Thursday night (7/13/06) in Orange County on Bipolar Disorder. More than 200 people attended the lecture, which consisted of overview of the illness, and of course a question and answer section. Many of the people attending brought pictures of loved ones with the disorder, shared personal stories, and asked for advice. Most importantly stigma was discussed; and the significance of realizing that actions of people with bipolar are out of their control until they receive treatment. "If you have a broken leg and are limping, everyone will come to Read more...
Posted by Michelle Roberts at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2005

24-Hour Challenge For Charity

One man has decided to support both bipolar disorder and diabetes by running in a 24-hour race. This great show of support will help both disorders that affect this man's life. Big Pete Mitchell, 31, of Christchurch will be entering the NZ 24-hour Track Running Champs at Sovereign Stadium, Auckland from 9am on 1st to 9am on 2nd October 2005. Nearly 20 competitors from across the country will be taking part in this gruelling 24-hour race. Pete's not just going to make up the numbers and anticipates running an amazing 160-180 km within the time limit. While this is no Read more...
Posted by at 1:08 PM | Comments (2)

August 24, 2005

New Jail Diversion Program in Florida

The Tampa Tribune reported this week that that city has an expanded Jail Diversion Program Proposed at a cost of $500,000 for the 2005/06 budget year. This is good news for the mentally ill, especially people with bipolar disorder as they represent a significant number. The jail diversion program will likely reduce the number of people suffering in jail and we hope to see these programs in every city in the US eventually. Reporter Todd Leskanic wrote, in the story, that: "A program to treat mentally ill defendants in Pinellas County has been proposed for Pasco. "This is a growing Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 12:14 PM | Comments (8)

August 17, 2005

Patty Duke Launches Online Mental Wellness Center

Encourages Individuals and Families Battling Bipolar Disorder to Share Stories COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- In a continuing effort to provide help, information, and resources to people struggling with mental illness, Patty Duke today announced the rollout of her Online Center for Mental Wellness at The center will be a "virtual" gathering place for individuals and families looking for information on Bipolar Disorder specifically and mental illness generally. Also, Duke is asking people to share their experiences and success stories regarding mental illness with her and the online community to help others understand that they are not Read more...
Posted by at 12:37 PM | Comments (16)

August 16, 2005

New President of NAMI

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Suzanne Vogel-Scibilia, M.D., of Beaver, PA, was elected president of national NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at the recent national convention in Austin, Texas. Vogel-Scibilia is a long-time board member of NAMI-PA, as well as the national NAMI board. "NAMI has tirelessly advanced the cause of persons with mental illness, their families and friends for over 26 years," Vogel-Scibilia said. "We look forward to more successes in the coming years involving our goals of advocacy, support, education, and research." A clinical psychiatrist, Vogel-Scibilia operates an independent mental health clinic in Beaver County. Read more...
Posted by at 2:13 PM | Comments (6)

July 6, 2005

Many With Mental Disorders Are Not Receiving Help

The mental health charity SANE, has a helpline for those in need within Australia. The helpline receives about 16,000 calls a year and a lot of the people calling are not receiving help for their disorder; 43% of the 16,000 were not receiving help. Most of the people had depression, 15% had schizophrenia and 11% had bipolar disorder. Many of those who called came from rural and remote communities. 40% of callers came from these rural/remote areas; this is a lot considering the fact that they only make up about 14% of the population. Health Minister Jim McGinty stated that Read more...
Posted by at 7:10 PM | Comments (2)

July 1, 2005

Survey Reveals Bipolar Disorder's Impact

A survey distributed to those with bipolar disorder has revealed new clues on the influence that bipolar disorder has on people's lives. The survey was distributed by the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) and AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company. The World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) today announced results of a global bipolar disorder consumer survey, Thinking Ahead, at the World Congress of Biological Psychiatry. The survey revealed that almost half (47%) of all people with bipolar disorder - or 'consumers' as many mental health patients prefer to be referred to as - feel that their disease has had a Read more...
Posted by at 1:20 PM | Comments (7)

June 21, 2005

Mandatory Care for Mentally Ill

Maine's House and Senate have approved a bill that would force mentally ill outpatients to follow the treatment plans ordered by courts or face hospitalization against their will. If approved Maine would be the 43rd state that mandates treatments for outpatients who are mentally ill. "Opponents of the bill, which would take effect July 1, 2006, see it as an effort to medicate sick people into compliance. They say that recovery from mental illness is possible only when patients are participating voluntarily in their treatment. And opponents, many of whom have mental illnesses themselves, view mandatory care as a violation Read more...
Posted by at 8:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 14, 2005

Insurance forced to cover Mental Illness

Iowa has signed a new state law that will force insurance companies to provide coverage for mental illness. "Under the law, which was signed by Gov. Tom Vilsack last month, businesses with 50 or more employees that provide health insurance for workers must also cover treatment of biologically based mental illnesses. Those include schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, schizo-affective disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorders, pervasive development and autistic disorders. Not included are eating disorders, substance abuse and attention deficit disorders. Iowa joins 46 other states that have adopted some type of mental health parity law" (The Associated Press, June 6, 2005). The Read more...
Posted by at 8:16 PM | Comments (3)

April 15, 2005

Bipolar Foundation Courses

A press release from the CABF this week noted the following: Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation Receives High Marks for Its Online Courses and Materials for Parents, Teachers; Pilot Program in Illinois Provides Successful Model for School Districts Throughout U.S. WILMETTE, Ill., The Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation [CABF] has received overwhelming praise from parents and schools for its online learning program for educators and parents. Learning takes place in a "virtual classroom" with course content available 24 hours a day. The series of 6 week courses for parents informs them about the symptoms and educational rights of children with Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 2:07 AM | Comments (2)

March 4, 2005

Mental Illness and Movies

Following is a good article about the persistant problem of Hollywood and other media frequently ignoring modern science as they develop their movies and books. While not specifically about bipolar disorder, it is a good overview of the important problems with Hollywood when it comes to mental illness. Time for Hollywood to Ground Freud "It's all Mom's fault" makes great scripts but scorns brain science and families struggling with mental illness. The opening scene of Martin Scorsese’s award winning biopic The Aviator shows us young Howard Hughes being sensuously towel dried by his mother who murmurs to him about the Read more...
Posted by szadmin at 3:31 AM | Comments (0)